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Newscaster Sharon Ní Bheoláin gets iced! RTENewsNow

Opinion So... why are people suddenly chucking buckets of icy water over their heads?

One very, very good reason.

THE ICE BUCKET Challenge has taken the world by storm. Hordes of celebrities like Justin Timberlake, Bill Gates, Oprah and Justin Bieber have gotten involved in this social media phenomenon in the name of ALS, or motor neurone disease (MND) as it is known here.

What started in America has now spread to Ireland with Irish personalities like Georga Salpa getting ‘iced’ for Motor Neurone Disease. On Monday night Daithí O’Shea took up the challenge live on the Rose of Tralee after being nominated by his mother-in-law. He then nominated Ray D’Arcy, Marty Whelan and Ryan Tubridy. Since then Kathryn Thomas, Sharon Ní Bheoláin and the Breakfast Show on 2fm have all completed the challenge and raised over €20,000 for the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association (IMNDA).

But what is Motor Neurone Disease?

“I hate the way Motor Neurone Disease is taking my life bit by bit.”

– Paul Lannon

“All you can do is try to cope with every challenge this illness throws at us and there are many. It is relentless.”

– Jan Battles

“This most cruel disease has taken with it the use of my upper and lower limbs. It has also taken my voice.”

– Emma Fitzpatrick

“At times we have felt very alone. Extended family have done their best to help but they have their own families to care for. One saving grace we can be thankful for is the IMNDA.”

– Shane Kelly

A cruel disease

Motor neurone disease (MND) is a progressive neurological condition that attacks the motor neurones, or nerves, in the brain and spinal cord. This means messages gradually stop reaching muscles, which leads to weakness and wasting. MND can affect how you walk, talk, eat, drink and breathe.

MND strikes people of all ages and there is currently no cure for it. MND is often referred to as ‘the 1,000 day disease’ as most people die within 1,000 days of being diagnosed. There are currently over 330 people living with MND in Ireland.

MND is, as described by the late Colm Murray, the PITs – progressive, incurable and terminal. This is why we want you to reach for a bucket of ice and join Sharon Ní Bheolain and take on the Ice Bucket Challenge. We want you to get ‘iced’ to help increase the awareness of this cruel disease that takes more than your breath away.

Grab a bucket of ice-cold water and pour it over your head, film it and then share it via your social media using #icebucketchallenge and #MND in exchange for a text donation to the IMNDA – it will go a long way to helping people with MND.

To show you exactly how it’s done, Padge Kelly (27) from Lucan and who has MND, will demonstrate!

Uploaded by Patrick Kelly

To donate to the IMNDA simply text MND to 50300 to give €2. It’s a small amount that will go a long way to helping people with motor neurone disease.

Sharon Ní Bheoláin films ice bucket challenge for Nine O’Clock News

Guy with Motor Neurone Disease does an emotional ice bucket challenge

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